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Summary

Penguin presents the unabridged downloadable audiobook edition of The Descent of Man by Grayson Perry, read by Jonny Philips.

Grayson Perry has been thinking about masculinity - what it is, how it operates, why little boys are thought to be made of slugs and snails - since he was a boy. Now, in this funny and necessary book, he turns round to look at men with a clear eye and ask, what sort of men would make the world a better place for everyone? What would happen if we rethought the old, outdated macho version of manhood and embraced a different idea of what makes a man?

Apart from giving up the coronary-inducing stress of always being 'right' and the vast new wardrobe options, the real benefit might be that a newly fitted masculinity will allow men to have better relationships - and that's happiness, right?

Grayson Perry admits he's not immune from the stereotypes himself - as the psychoanalysts say, 'If you spot it, you've got it' - and his thoughts on everything from power to physical appearance, from emotions to a brand-new Manifesto for Men, are shot through with honesty, tenderness and the belief that, for everyone to benefit, upgrading masculinity has to be something men decide to do themselves. They have nothing to lose but their hang-ups.

©2016 Grayson Perry (P)2016 Penguin

Critic reviews

"Grayson Perry for King and Queen of England. Imagine how brilliant our country would look if he was." (Caitlin Moran)

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Truely brilliant!!

The most fascinatingly informed book I've ever read Grayson you're a legend! I had to read it in one sitting as I couldn't put it down- thank you for such an intelligent book!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Thoughtful analysis

Great readShould be a required text for boys and girls from the age of 10!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Great read

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's certainly thought-provoking but it's key strength is taking a difficult subject and making it funny.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful

Grayson Peer's wisdom, sensitivity and daring admissions of his own evolution as a man over time show him to have a strength and innate power that is massively attractive in a man; a Real Man. I would love all my male friends to read and learn from this book that they are more valuable to women as themselves and not as predictable stereotypes. Thank you, Grayson.

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  • Mabbers
  • Bratislava, Slovakia
  • 04-04-17

Great

Really interesting and thought provoking and a really good insight into the mind of the modern man. It was also good to think from the male perspective.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Interesting

Interesting thoughts coming from a man about men and their built-in actions and reactions. Grayson Perry may not be an ideal spokesman for the gender but he is totally honest about men and maleness. I hope that once these thoughts have been aired they will be picked up and ruminated on by men and boys the world over. Perhaps then the world will be a better place.

The essay was well read, making it very enjoyable and allowing Grayson Perry come through. Will this be the beginning of a new chapter for the human race? I hope so!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Thought-provoking listen

A really interesting take on masculinity with novel ways of looking at issues surrounding gender equality. It could be a rather dry and ‘right-on’ discussion but Perry injects enough humour to make sure it is always an enjoyable read/listen. The narration by Jonny Philips is excellent, sounding a little like Perry himself (whether this a conscious decision I’m not sure) which I found worked very well with the text. Definitely recommended.

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Thank You, Grayson Perry

I'd like to thank Grayson Perry for even writing a book about masculinity from his perspective. The provision of his rationale behind modern day behaviours, attitudes and actions based on what is understood to be masculine and feminine, is so insightful. Thank you, Grayson Perry, for taking the time to think about and write this.

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Fascinating look at the problem of being a man

I'm not a man so to have the experience of being a man explained and examined was very interesting. And as a plea for men to be allowed to be themselves and be given a chance to find out what that is this is excellent. Although not read by the author the tone and accent is reminiscent.

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  • Nigel
  • Sandbach, United Kingdom
  • 03-12-17

Man Bible

There's a lot of good stuff being written and done re feminism. Here's the male equivalent.